By Dave McMillion for the Herald Mail

FAIRPLAY — Some entered the fellowship hall a little nervous about it all.

Others bolted into the room, as if they knew this was all about them.

It was the annual blessing of the animals, when people all over the world stop and recognize the richness that pets bring to their lives.

One of the local services was held Sunday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Lappans Road.

About a dozen people, mostly bringing dogs, attended a 5 p.m. ceremony led by the Rev. Anne O. Weatherholt.

The service is held in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century deacon and monk who is legendary for his loving and gentle way with animals.

“In your infinite wisdom, Lord God, when you created the universe, you blessed us with living creatures,” Weatherholt and those in attendance said in prayer. “We especially thank you for giving us our pets, who are our friends and who bring us so much joy in life.

Continued in the Herald Mail